The cost of procrastination

Mortgage and Lending
I spoke with a new client yesterday (I'll call him Jason) about the house he's buying in Silverthorne (in Summit County, Colorado -- home to Copper Mountain, Keystone and Breckenridge ski resorts.) Jason had gotten back at 1:00 am from a meeting with the sellers, and was a little dazed by how quickly he had gone under contract, putting a $10,000 deposit down on the house. In just over 36 hours, he had gone from seeing the house for the first time to being under contract to buy it, already approved for his mortgage.

Bear in mind that Jason loves this house. He's seen many in recent weeks, none of which excited him very much. "As soon as I stepped inside," he said, "I knew that I could keep this house for a long time."

A few minutes later I was on the phone with the seller, who told me that just a few hours after Jason got home from signing the contract, the seller received another offer at full price to buy the house.

That's how it is to buy property in Summit County -- when you see a place that will work for you, you have to act.

In today's paper there's a report on a study by a Canadian researcher on the scope and cost of procrastination (the study took 10 years but was only supposed to take five -- click here for the full article.) In short, the study found that with all of the technology around us (TV, online video, cellphones, video games, blackberries and iPods) the number of people who say they have serious procrastination problems has gone up by more than 500% since 1978.

The researcher, University of Calgary professor Piers Steel, says that the U.S. gross national product would probably rise by $50 billion if the icon and sound that notifies people of new e-mail were to disappear.

In the field of personal finance, right now there are millions of Americans with adjustable rate mortgages from the past few years which had their interest rates increase (or will shortly.) Every month that goes by without acting -- like refinancing into a fixed-rate mortgage -- costs them more money.

Professor Steel says that one key cause of procrastination is "whether you believe you can get the work done." Mortgages can be complicated, with different programs and payment options to consider; properly done, a refinance takes you whole financial picture into consideration.

To be proactive, follow these steps:
  1. find a mortgage broker whom you can trust
  2. be open about your finances with him, and
  3. let him guide you to the closing table
Don't let another day go by without acting in your financial best interest!

For a great article on the importance of NOW in your life, click here.

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